Dugong and turtle project nominated for national award 


A breakthrough dugong and marine turtle management project is a finalist in the prestigious 2008 Australian National Landcare Awards. 
The Dugong and Marine Turtle Project, led by the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance (NAILSMA), will compete for top honours in the Life-on-the-edge-Coastcare Award and People’s Choice award categories. 
Already a winner at the 2008 Banksia Environment Awards in the Indigenous Award category, the Dugong and Marine Turtle Project is the only Indigenous-run project in the Coastcare Award category. 
NAILSMA Executive Officer, Joe Morrison said the project’s success recognised the collaboration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, scientists and government from across northern Australia to support Indigenous management and protection of the threatened marine species. 
“Northern Australia is one of the last remaining intact marine ecosystems of its kind and Indigenous people are the ‘front-line’ managers of the coastline where dugong and turtle remain abundant, as has been the case for millennia,” Mr Morison said. 
“Driven by Indigenous people, the project has taken a practical approach by creating new Indigenous ranger programs and supported communities to combine traditional knowledge with modern research and training to undertake management activities such as mapping and monitoring populations and habitats, tracking turtle migrations by satellite, and developing turtle and dugong management plans.” 
The project supports Indigenous people across the north to share knowledge and experiences with each other, others around Australia and even overseas through ranger exchanges and innovative communication tools such as Message Disk—a DVD of audio-visual on-country stories by Indigenous rangers. 
Vote for the NAILSMA Dugong and Marine Turtle Project for the People’s Choice Award at www.landcareheroes.com/meet-our-finalists/life-on-the-edge-coastcare 
To find out more about the NAILSMA Dugong and Marine Turtle Project, visit www.nailsma.org.au/projects/dugong_turtle.html